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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

FIRST HALF OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY   361

or more training classes for teachers, as part of the work of the
colleges and lycees. But there was no real place for popular
instruction in his despotic system, and beyond encouraging the
Brethren of the Christian Schools to continue their work under
licence of the State, nothing was done for the elementary schools.
The Restoration brought no improvement in this respect. Even
the spread of schools, other than those of the Teaching Congre-
gations under the auspices of a private Society for Elementary
Instruction, failed to meet the needs of the case. The monitorial
method of mutual instruction borrowed from England and
employed for its cheapness, proved as ineffective as in the land of
its origin; and the inquiry which preceded the institution of a
national system of primary education in 1833 revealed a deplorable
condition of ignorance not only among the people at large but also
among their teachers.

6. EDUCATIONAL THEORY IN FRANCE

With all public education under direct State control the stream
of educational theory which had flowed with a remarkable con-
tinuity in France from the Sixteenth Century to the very end of
the Eighteenth, almost dried up. Such discussion as there was
went on outside the ranks of the ordinary educators. On the one
hand, there was a succession of women writers concerned mainly
with domestic education; and on the other, a group of revolu-
tionary thinkers desirous of educational change as a means to the
creation of a society such as the world had never seen before.

The interest of the grandes dames of France in education was
not a new thing. Madame de Maintenon, director of the great
girls' school of St. Cyr founded by Louis XIV, Madame de
Lambert, following Fenelon in her Advice to her Son and to her
Daughter, Madame d'Epinay, patroness and disciple of Rousseau,
author of Letters to my Son, Madame de Genlis, criticizing yet
following Rousseau in her Letters on Education, had established a
tradition without parallel in Europe except in Britain, where at
the very end of the Eighteenth Century Miss Edgeworth (Practical
Education, 1798) and Miss Hamilton, (Elementary Principles of
Education, 1801) applied the doctrines of the Scottish school of
philosophy to education. The Nineteenth Century made a